After two years on the road, bushranger Ben Hall considers surrendering to the law when his old friend John Gilbert entices him back into the game. Taking on a fresh recruit John Dunn, the gang ride again, before long becoming the most wanted men in the British Empire. When they are declared outlaw, the three decide to flee the colony forever. As Ben Hall seeks to make peace with his tortured past, the their trusted friend becomes a police informant. They set a cunning trap for the outlaws, and on the cold morning of May 5th 1865, Ben Hall emerges alone from his camp... and walks into legend forever.Written by
Director Matthew Holmes spent seven years researching Ben Hall's history to ensure the screenplay, characters and plot were as historically accurate as possible. See more »
Early in the film, Happy Jack uses the word 'moxie'. This word came into common American parlance in the 1930s and was derived from the beverage of the same name; The Legend of Ben Hall is set in 1860s Australia. See more »
Drawings of the major characters (and the name of the actor portraying them) are shown before the main credits. See more »
Sadly, the distribution of this film is patchy, to say the least, and it will not be found in most mainstream cinemas. That is a real pity, as it is far better than many "big name" films (I'm tempted to write a spoiler here about the one we saw a few days ago) and deserves to be seen more readily. We had to travel to another town to see it.
For a film made on, essentially, a shoestring budget, the quality on all scores is excellent. The Australian bush is captured beautifully, the casting and acting is entirely credible as are the sets and production values. The script brings out good character development in the main characters and the story itself is historically accurate to the point that it could almost qualify for documentary status.
Trying hard to look for negatives, the most I could suggest is that there could have been slightly tighter editing of some of the "moody pensive" shots and horse riding. But that was a minor consideration. I also should mention the great musical score.
Definitely worth seeing to visit the Australian bush of the 1860s and to learn of one of the most legendary of our bushrangers.
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